A federal appeals court has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission cannot fine ABC and selected affiliates $1.2 million for airing a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue that showed actress Charlotte Ross' nude buttocks, citing the FCC's unconstitutionally vague rules, The Associated Press reports.
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The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said Tuesday that the decision was in line with its previous ruling that TV stations can no longer be fined for fleeting, unscripted profanities uttered during live broadcasts. In July, the appeals court ruled that the FCC's indecency policy violated First Amendment rights and was unconstitutionally vague.
In its Tuesday ruling, the three-judge panel wrote that there was "no significant distinction" between its decision in the expletives case and the NYPD Blue case.
Court rules FCC indecency policy "unconstitutionally vague"
"According to the FCC, 'nudity itself is not per se indecent,'" the judges wrote. "The FCC, therefore, decides in which ...
ABC on Thursday ponied up $1,237,500 in fines assessed by the FCC for the 2003 broadcast of an NYPD Blue episode in which for a fleeting instant, Charlotte Ross made us all forget about Eve Donovan's icky romance with Nick Corelli. (Watch video here. Warning: Nudity.) But this nude's story isn't over yet, folks. ABC merely paid its tab so that it can have its day in court. "While strongly opposed to the fines, ABC paid them in their entirety in order to make the FCC decision appealable," the network says in a statement cited by Broadcasting & Cable. "ABC contends that the FCC order is arbitrary and capricious, contrary to the commissions own standards and past decisions and in violation of the indecency statute and the First Amendment."Related: ABC and Affiliates "Rebutt" FCC's NYPD Blue Fine FCC: NYPD Was Too Blue; ABC to Fight $1.4 Mil Fine
ABC and the ABC Affiliates Association on Monday formally appealed the FCC's proposed $1.4 million fine for a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue in which Charlotte Ross bared her backside as well as a bit of breast. At issue is the fact that said shower scene was broadcast by 52 ABC affiliates in the Central and Mountain zones before 10 pm. "When the brief scene in question was telecast almost five years ago, this critically acclaimed drama had been on the air for a decade and the realistic nature of its storylines was well known to the viewing public," ABC argues in a statement. "The FCC's action was inconsistent with the commission's own indecency standards, procedural requirements and prior decisions; with the indecency statute; and with the First Amendment."A chairman for the ABC Affiliates Association adds, "[We] believe that the process and procedures employed by the [FCC] in the handling of this matter were deeply flawed and violate well-settled legal standards."The scene in question ...
NYPD Blue's Charlotte Ross by Bob D'Amico/ABC
The Federal Communications Commission on Friday levied a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC stations, stemming from a 2003 broadcast of NYPD Blue. The episode in question showed Charlotte Ross' Det. Connie McDowell startled by a young boy as she was about to take a shower, and in doing so showed "multiple, close-up views" of Ross' "nude buttocks," the FCC says. (A clip of the scene (warning: nudity) can be found here; megaprops to reader obriensg1 for finding it.) The ABC affiliates targeted by the fine broadcast in the Central and Mountain time zones, and thus aired the episode before the 10 o'clock hour.ABC which unsuccessfully argued against the FCC's contention that buttocks are a "sexual organ" has responded to the ruling by noting that NYPD Blue came with parental warnings, was V-chip-enabled, and because it had been on the air for a decade at the time, "the realistic nature of its storylines was well-known to the viewing public." "ABC feels strongly that the FCC's...
Nora Roberts' Angels Falls comes to life.
As a writer, I work alone. And I like it. When creating my books, I'm not only the writer, I'm the director, the costume and set designer, I'm hair and makeup. And I'm the entire cast. The wrap parties are pretty quiet, but I get all the champagne and pizza. It's a great job, and not nearly as schizophrenic as it sounds. Really.
When a book's being adapted into a movie, the writer turns all those other fun jobs over to the movie experts. If the writer's lucky, those experts may want her input.
I'm really lucky.
My first stroke of luck was in having producers like Mandalay and Stephanie Germain Productions interested in adapting four of my romantic-suspense novels for TV [airing Mondays beginning Jan. 29; see complete schedule below]. The second, having Lifetime showcase those films, slammed it out of the park.
It was fascinating for me to read each draft of the scripts. The translations keyed into the heart of the stories. As casting progressed, my del
Producer Tony Krantz (24) and writers Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) and Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) have a pilot commitment to adapt Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, a 1974 thriller starring Gene Hackman, into a weekly series for ABC.... Also per Variety: David O. Russell (Three Kings) is teaming with Josh Lieb (The Simpsons) on an hourlong FX dramedy envisioned as a sort of Upstairs, Downstairs set in a Los Angeles country club.... John Corbett, Charlotte Ross, Ashley Williams and Diane Ladd will star in Montana Sky, a Lifetime movie based on the best seller by the amazing Nora Roberts.
In Justice's Jason O'Mara has landed the lead in the ABC drama pilot Drift, about a New York detective battling insomnia.... Kevin Alejandro has joined Fox's Faceless as a meth-addict gang member.... Rachel Perry will play a scientist in Fox's Beyond.... Bruno Campos has left ABC's Southern Comfort to fill the lead in Fox's The Wedding Album.... Charlotte Ross has dumped ABC's Ugly Betty and is now in talks to join Alicia Silverstone in ABC's Pink Collar.... Vanessa L. Williams, whom I have always considered a twin for Ross, will replace the NYPD Blue alum on Betty.
At ABC, David Arquette (Scream) has joined the comedy In Case of Emergency, playing a businessman who botches a suicide attempt.... Peter Facinelli (Six Feet Under) has landed the second lead (opposite Jeffrey Donovan) in Enemies.... Sarah Clarke (24) has joined the drama A House Divided.... Charlotte Ross (
Jake in Progress NYPD Blue) has come aboard Ugly Betty.... and Sean Patrick Flannery (The Dead Zone) has joined Secrets of a Small Town. Elsewhere, Doublemint Twin Natalie Garza has been cast on Fox's The 12th Man, Michael Gaston has joined CBS' Jericho, and Lenny Clarke will play Rob Corddry's pop in Fox's Becoming Glen.
Question: So is Jake in Progress canceled or not? Charlotte Ross fans need to know.
Answer: At press tour Saturday, ABC prez Steve McPherson said he still believes in the show. "We would really like to find a place for it, to give it one more shot." And should it strike out for a third time, ER boss man John Wells is poised to step in and snag John Stamos for a long-term stint. "I would love to have John Stamos come onto ER," Wells tells me. "We had created that [paramedic] character on the assumption that Jake in Progress wasn't coming back this year. But it hasn't been officially canceled, so they haven't released him."
Reports of the death of the TV sitcom were, thankfully, premature. New critical hits like My Name Is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris and the steadily improving The Office have set a high bar for the new and returning comedies that entered the fray this month. Just getting Scrubs back on the air after an inexcusable fall hiatus is reason enough to celebrate, while some of the newbies hope to fill the romantic-comedy void left by Sex and the City and Friends. Here’s my quick take on the mid-season comedy crop. (I dismissed NBC’s generic buddy romp Four Kings in an earlier column.)
ScrubsTuesdays, 9 pm/ET, NBCHeard it before? Thankfully, yes. The antics are as fresh as ever now that this endearingly irreverent medical comedy has returned — finally — with back-to-back episodes of bawdy slapstick and barbed verbal w